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Caesars Palace 2000: Millennium Gold Edition
Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Interplay
Developer: Runecraft
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Card Games/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:
Although better than the standard casino game fare, Caesars Palace 2000: Millennium Gold Edition doesnít really offer anything exciting in the graphical field. Yes, itís 3D, but how often does 3D matter when youíre playing slots or blackjack? The only time it seems kinda cool is when youíre playing Roulette, and you get to see the ball bounce around on the wheel, or when you throw the dice in Craps. But thatís really stretching it. For the most part, despite the 3D engine, youíre not going to be blown away graphically. It doesnít help that thereís no Ďfleshí around the bones of the games -- nothing that says that youíre playing in Caesars Palace. Sure, the logo is on each table, but not much more.

The sound effects are actually quite good, with the correct calling and voice-acting that at least tries to make you feel like youíre in a casino. It doesnít seem quite noisy enough for me, but the aural part of the game gets the job done. I liked that the caller actually had all the numbers in Roulette, so that you donít feel like itís a goofy synthesized computer voice reading them off.

Caesars Palace 2000 gets the job done when it comes to playing as well, but nothing more than that. When you start the game, you can create a list of up to four players that can play at a time. People start off with a $2,000 loan, which they can pay off after they make a bit of dough. You can entertain yourself at four different groupings of games -- Slot Machines, Video Poker, Table Games, and Card Games. The slot machines and video poker are just as you would expect, with a liberal number of choices for your money-burning pleasure. Iíve never been one for machines, as they destroy even the illusion that you might break even. But for what itís worth, they look quite nice in CP 2000.

The meat of the game, in my opinion, lies in the other two options. With Table Games, you can play either Roulette or Craps, both with the full betting schemes available. Craps betting is a fine art, and one that takes quite a while to learn well, so I suggest that beginners start with Roulette. Itís mostly self-explanatory. Throw the chips where you want (or let the game bet for you), and watch the wheel spin. Entertaining, neh?

When you go to the Card Games, you have a choice of Blackjack, Pai-Gow Poker, Casino War, and Red Dog, among others. Once again, I found myself sticking with the classics, wasting more time on Blackjack than anything else. Here is where the gameís limitations really show. Itís difficult to see whatís dealt to you until the camera pans back in after dealing, as every card in a suit only has one symbol in the middle instead of the correct count. Eh? I canít imagine that putting Ďnormalí card textures would be that hard, but I could be wrong.

I canít fault the game for doing what itís doing. I mean, if you have a hankering for Blackjack, this is as close to the casino as youíre probably going to get. But because CP 2000 strips away all the trimmings, and just gives you the games, it often feels like itís a generic gambling game, with the Caesars Palace license strapped on just because it could be done.

Well, in the long run, you know youíre going to lose. The question is just how big youíre going to lose. Depending on the game, the betting scheme may be very simple (do I win?) to insane (Craps being a good example of that.) You may want to consult guides to see just how the heck you should be betting on games like that.

Game Mechanics:
The game itself plays fine. Itís simple enough to alter the units of your bets, although I wish that you could zero it out and then add chips, instead of adding and then deleting. Minor gripe, though. The controls are simple and the interface is clean and understandable.

Caesars Palace 2000: Millennium Gold Edition is a decent gambling game that seems to set out for doing what it needs to, and does just that. Itís not going to blow you away with any extras, nor is it going to regale you with crazy music. Instead, what you get is a very trimmed-down, yet complete, gambling simulation. If this is your sort of thing, then you may very well go for it. But finding a group of real people and playing for toothpicks or poker chips is infinitely more rewarding. Still, if itís the 20 youíll drop on this or a few grand at the real thing, I suggest this -- youíll appreciate it in the morning.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

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